J Cancer 2021; 12(21):6519-6530. doi:10.7150/jca.60743

Research Paper

miR-328-3p promotes migration and invasion by targeting H2AFX in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

Huiling Ma1,2, Chao Liu1,2,3, Shuiting Zhang1,2,3, Wenhui Yuan1,2,3, Junli Hu1,2,3, Donghai Huang1,2,3, Xin Zhang1,2,3,4, Yong Liu1,2,3,4✉, Yuanzheng Qiu1,2,3,4✉

1. Department of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, China.
2. Otolaryngology Major Disease Research Key Laboratory of Hunan Province, Changsha, China.
3. Clinical Research Center for Pharyngolaryngeal Diseases and Voice Disorders in Hunan Province, Changsha, China.
4. National Clinical Research Center for Geriatric Disorders, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, China.

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Citation:
Ma H, Liu C, Zhang S, Yuan W, Hu J, Huang D, Zhang X, Liu Y, Qiu Y. miR-328-3p promotes migration and invasion by targeting H2AFX in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. J Cancer 2021; 12(21):6519-6530. doi:10.7150/jca.60743. Available from https://www.jcancer.org/v12p6519.htm

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Abstract

Migration and invasion are the initial step in the metastatic process, while metastasis is responsible for the poor prognosis of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Since miRNA has been found as an important regulator of gene expression at the post-transcriptional level in various diseases including carcinoma, exploring the role of miRNA in cancer metastasis will facilitate the target therapy of advanced HNSCC. MiR-328-3p has been reported to be an onco-miRNA or a tumor suppressor in several cancers. However, the role of miR-328-3p in HNSCC migration and invasion remains undefined. In this study, we first demonstrated that miR-328-3p enhanced migration and invasion of HNSCC in vitro, accompanying with a promotion of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and mTOR activity. Meanwhile, we confirmed that miR-328-3p directly targeted the 3'UTR of H2A histone family, member X (H2AFX), which served as a tumor suppressor in migration and invasion of HNSCC. Moreover, H2AFX could partially reverse the migration and invasion of HNSCC caused by miR-328-3p. Overall, our results indicated that miR-328-3p enhanced migration and invasion of HNSCC through targeting H2AFX and activated the mTOR pathway.

Keywords: Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, miR-328-3p, Migration, Invasion, H2AFX